Penguin Classics

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Classics A-to-Z

Alan Walker

With an unbelievable two complete cycles under his belt, Alan Walker, our Senior Director of Academic Marketing and Sales has embarked on yet another Penguin Classics reading marathon from A–Z. This time, instead of choosing books by the author name, he’s reading one book by title per letter of the alphabet. Read Alan’s latest blog entries (now at A), as well as his first and second marathons.

Poems By Heart App from Penguin Classics

Poems By Heart App from Penguin Classics app icon image

Named one of the Best Apps of 2013 by Apple, Poems By Heart from Penguin Classics is a memorization game that will challenge you with classic poems from master wordsmiths including Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, and more. You'll rack up high scores and achievements on your way to reciting poems from heart, with recordings you can share online and email to your friends.

Poems By Heart uses brain-training techniques to make remembering poetry easy and fun—in a fast and responsive game. Each poem features two new and exclusive dramatic readings, and all-new original art.

  • Four poems are included free.
  • 25 poems available in the Poetry Shop (plus the first part of "The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám") with new additions every month through the first half of 2014
  • Works by Walt Whitman, Christina Rossetti, W.B. Yeats, James Weldon Johnson, and eighteen other iconic poets
  • Five difficulty stages and twenty ranks of success

Pocket Hardbacks

Mini Hardcover Classics cover

From Lucretius to Marcus Aurelius to Marx, these mini hardcovers pack 2,000 years of essential philosophy into six small-format volumes. With covers designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith, illustrator of our perennially popular Hardcover Classics, they’re the perfect gift for anyone searching for meaning, enlightenment or ways to crush their political enemies.

800 Years of the Magna Carta

800 Years of the Magna Carta cover

"To no one will we sell, to no one will we deny or delay, right or justice." The Magna Carta, signed by England's King John in 1215, introduced an idea foundational to current democracies—that nobody, not even the king, is above the law. Our new edition transcribes the original document in both Latin and modern English and features extensive new commentary by medieval history expert David Carpenter.

The Centurions

The Centurions cover

Jean Lartéguy's The Centurions first enthralled readers fifty-five years ago before sinking out of the public consciousness, but over the decades the novel—long out of print and nearly impossible to find—attained cult status with military buffs. Our new edition, with a foreword by foreign affairs expert Robert D. Kaplan, will bring Lartéguy’s tale of paratroopers in Algeria and French Indochina to an audience as inundated by the global conflagrations of war as his first readers were back in 1960.

The All-Pervading Melodious Drumbeat

The All-Pervading Melodious Drumbeat cover

Ra Lotsawa Dorjé Drak's story has never before been available in English, depriving readers of a tale as riveting as any novel. The eleventh-century Buddhist saint is notorious for his mystical and violent path to enlightenment, and the legacy he carved out stands in stark contrast to the gentler buddhas and bodhisattvas who dominate Western perception of the religion. Buddhist scholar Bryan J. Cuevas provides the translation, introduction and notes to our black-spine volume.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass cover

150 years after its initial publication, readers of Lewis Carroll are still delighting in believing six impossible things before breakfast, coming up with curiouser and curiouser explanations for how a raven is like a writing desk, and reliving adventures and friendships with the Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat, Red Queen and Alice herself. Our Classics Deluxe anniversary edition is introduced by Charlie Lovett, author of The Bookman's Tale and First Impressions and former president of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America.

Civic Classics

Civic Classics

Penguin presents a series of six portable, accessible, and essential Civic Classics from American political history, selected by leading scholars. Series editor Richard Beeman, author of The Penguin Guide to the U.S. Constitution, draws together the great texts of American civic life, including the founding documents, pivotal historical speeches, and important Supreme Court decisions, to create a timely and informative mini-library of perennially vital issues.

Mark Twain and The Republic of Imagination

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn coverThe Adventures of Tom Sawyer cover

Mark Twain scholar R. Kent Rasmussen provides the introduction and notes for both The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and its pseudo-sequel, the ever-controversial Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Azar Nafisi, bestselling author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, contributes the foreword to Huck Finn, a title she examines as a linchpin of American culture in her own upcoming title The Republic of Imagination.

Stage & Screen

Far from the Madding Crowd

Far from the Madding Crowd cover

Thomas Hardy's classic Wessex novel gets an injection of star power in Thomas Vinterberg's film adaptation, which opens in May in the United States. Carey Mulligan stars as Bathsheba Everdene, an independent soul whose transfer to a rural estate attracts the attentions of three unique suitors. Our new Hardcover Classics edition of Hardy’s breakout novel is based on his original 1874 manuscript and includes introductions by Rosemarie Morgan and Shannon Russell.

Testament of Youth

Testament of Youth cover

One of the great enduring works to spring from the War to End All Wars, Vera Brittain's memoir will hit the big screen in June 2015. James Kent's adaptation has already been nominated for awards in Britain, so now is the perfect time to brush up on her story with our black spine edition of the book, which is at once an elegy for lost innocence, a history of the first war to span the globe, and an early paean to the power of feminism in a world gone mad.

Madame Bovary

Madame Bovary

Gustave Flaubert's notorious masterpiece—which became a bestseller thanks in part to its 1857 obscenity trial—has enthralled and scandalized readers for over 150 years. When Sophie Barthes' adaptation (billed as the first to be directed by a woman) opens in June, audiences will see whether Mia Wasikowska's Emma Bovary will live up to Flaubert's original creation. Our new Hardcover Classics edition, with an introduction by translator Geoffrey Wall and preface by novelist Michéle Roberts, will hit bookshelves before the lights go down.

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes cover

Like Watson for Holmes, Ian McKellen seems a perfect match for an aged Sherlock. Bill Condon's July adaptation of Mitch Cullin's novel A Slight Trick of the Mind revisits the sleuth in what should be his twilight years, as he revisits a mystery that could shed light on his own past. After watching you'll be primed to pick up our upcoming Classics Deluxe collection of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's four Sherlock novels, complete with an introduction by Washington Post literary columnist Michael Dirda.

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Penguin Classics on Air

"Penguin Classics on Air," a half-hour series devoted to the discussion and exploration of some of Penguin Classics' 1,500-plus titles.